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Title: Playback point counts and N‐mixture models suggest higher than expected abundance of the critically endangered blond titi monkey in northeastern Brazil
Authors: Coelho, Igor P. et al.
Keywords: Caatinga;Callicebus Barbarabrownae;Dry Forest;Endangered Species;Imperfect Detection
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2020
Publisher: American Journal of Primatology
Abstract: Effective management of threatened species requires accurate population size estimation and monitoring. However, reliable population size estimates are lacking for many endangered species. The critically endangered blond titi monkey (Callicebus barbarabrownae) is an endemic primate of the Caatinga biome in Northeastern Brazil. A previous assessment based on presence‐only data estimated a minimum population size of 260 mature individuals in 2,636 km2 , and studies based on visual records suggested very low local relative abundance. However, this cryptic species is known to be difficult to visually detect. We played back recordings of C. barbarabrownae loud calls to count the number of responding groups in 34 sampling sites during 9 consecutive days in a 221‐km2 study area. Repeated group counts at sites were used in N‐mixture models, which account for imperfect detection, to estimate the number of groups in relation to dry forest area and distance to villages. We estimated a total of 91 groups in the study area. Considering the mean number of adults per group as three, we estimated a population of 273 adult individuals, resulting in a density of 2.3 individuals/km2 in the dry forest habitat. Detection probability was four times higher for surveys conducted between sunrise to midmorning than between midmorning to sunset. We also found that C. barbarabrownae abundance increases with increasing dry forest area and increasing distance to the nearest village, indicating the need to promote dry forest restoration in the Caatinga. As our results suggest a larger population of C. barbarabrownae than had been previously estimated for its entire distribution, our results suggest a need for similar assessments in other areas to reliably estimate the total population size. This study demonstrates how playback surveys coupled with N‐mixture models can be used to estimate population sizes of acoustically‐responsive primates, and thus contribute to more effective conservation management.
metadata.dc.type: Artigo
ISSN: 1098-2345
Appears in Collections:Livros e Publicações

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